Another major grocery store chain will soon ask shoppers in Ontario and Quebec to spend a nickel for each throwaway plastic bag, a practice that environmentalists believe will soon become the norm at supermarkets nationwide. Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU.A), which operates nearly 600 stores, is set to announce Tuesday a plan to charge customers a five-cent-per-bag fee.
The fee kicks in June 1 — the same day the City of Toronto starts forcing stores to charge for single-use bags. “We started looking at that and decided it made sense to extend that to both provinces,” said Selena Fiacco, communications director for Metro Ontario. “We really want to reduce the number of plastic bags in circulation.” Metro joins Canada’s two largest grocery chains, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (TSX:L) and Sobeys (TSX:EMP.A) in charging five cents per bag. Sobeys, however, only charges the fee in Ontario. Flat-fee programs have been a staple for years at some stores, such as discount grocer No Frills.